René (M.) de Groot (1969)
Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer
René de Groot started his career with KLM in 1990 as a pilot. His last position as a pilot was captain on the Airbus A330 until 2012. In 1999 he joined the Board of the Dutch Pilots Union VNV, and was VNV’s President from 2005 to 2009. De Groot was Deputy President of the International Federation of Air Line Pilot's Associations (IFALPA) in 2010/2011. In 2012, he made the transition to a managing position at Engineering & Maintenance, becoming its Senior Vice President Operations, before joining the Board of Managing Directors in 2015 as Chief Operating Officer. He is also KLM’s Accountable Manager.
Within the joint responsibility of the Board of Managing Directors, it is the COO who manages KLM’s Passenger Business Operations, with 30 million passengers per year, 650 flights per day to 144 destinations and 20,000 staff. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Air France KLM Group. Furthermore he is a board member of ACARE (Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe.)
As KLM’s Accountable Manager he is accountable to the Dutch Civil Aviation Authority (CAA-NL) for maintaining operational safety and compliance standards required by regulation, and has final responsibility for the Air Operator Certificate (AOC). Within this responsibility he is accountable for the overall Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS).
René de Groot graduated as an airline pilot at the Rijksluchtvaartschool. In addition he has completed several aviation safety leadership courses (Baines Simmons) and an executive program (Darden Business School, USA).